|The Smurfs And The Magic Flute|
|Original title||La Flûte à six trous|
Random House (English)
|Year of publication||1958|
"The Smurfs And The Magic Flute" (La Flûte à six schtroumpfs in French, literally "The Flute Of Six Smurfs") was a comic book story originally created and published in 1958 by Peyo under the title La Flûte à six trous ("The Flute with Six Holes") as part of the Johan and Peewit series of stories. It became the basis for the movie of the same name.
Peewit the human jester and entertainer comes across a six-holed flute that a traveling merchant has left on the ground after he was hastily departed from the kingdom by The King and Sir Johan when he tried to sell various and strange musical instruments to his intended customer. Peewit discovers that playing the flute can make people dance to its tune, though extended playing can cause them to pass out. A thief named Oilycreep discovers the power of the flute and steals it from Peewit in order to rob the townsfolk of their valuables. Peewit and Sir Johan go after the thief to get the flute back from him without any success.
Realizing that the flute is magical in nature, the two young adventurers seek help from Homnibus, who then uses hypnokinesis to send them to the only known group of people who have made the magic flute -- the Smurfs. Its leader Papa Smurf tells them that the flute's power cannot be removed, but he and his little Smurfs can make for them another flute that can be used against Oilycreep. Peewit and Sir Johan patiently wait as the Smurfs chop down a big tree from which they must get the wood for making the second flute. But just before the two humans can get their hands on the completed flute, Homnibus sends them back too soon and is unable to return them to the Smurfs. Fortunately, the Smurfs track down Homnibus' hovel and give Peewit the second flute.
The two humans along with Papa Smurf then travel to the port of Trominack, where they heard from other Smurfs that Oilycreep had gone to board a ship to reach an island where he hopes to gain mercenaries for his associate Lord Mumford to take over The King's kingdom. Though they don't reach the port in time to stop Oilycreep, Sir Johan and Peewit do follow Lord Mumford to the island posing as sailors when he received a letter that supposedly came from Oilycreep, demanding to see him immediately. As they reach the island and run into Oilycreep, Peewit duels with him by playing their magic flutes toward each other, causing Sir Johan and Lord Mumford to pass out upon listening. The duel exhausts both players and they end up stopping to catch their breath. Peewit takes advantage of this break to play a short burst to knock Oilycreep out and reclaim the flute.
On their way back to the kingdom to turn over Oilycreep and Lord Mumford into custody, Peewit creates a fake flute with which he hopes to turn over to the Smurfs along with one of the two magic flutes. However, after that happens and the Smurfs depart, Peewit plays a tune from the flute he has left...only to find out to his dismay that he had turned over both magic flutes!
- This is notably the first comic book story in which the Smurfs appeared, with Papa Smurf being the only distinctive Smurf character among them. Since the Smurfs were only originally intended to be supporting characters to Johan and Peewit (who were the main characters of the story), they were given a more humanlike appearance, with five-fingered hands instead of the four fingers of their later incarnations. Also, the Smurf Village is located in the middle of a rather desolate rock-filled forest called the Cursed Land, which was later changed into a flourishing animal-filled forest in the animated version of the story and in all subsequent interpretations of the Smurfs.
- Another note of importance is that, since the Smurfs weren't main characters yet, the Smurf language was more exaggerated than in later stories, and Papa Smurf had to translate for Johan and Peewit. The Smurf language only got more comprehensible when they starred in their own series' first comic book story, "The Black Smurfs".
- A 2008 Smurf adventure called Les schtroumpfeurs de flûte (French: "The Flute Smurfers"), published to mark the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the Smurfs, is a prequel to this story. It tells how the Smurfs first deliver the flute which was to be the basis of the 1958 story. Johan and Peewit help out a human friend of the Smurfs, but do not actually get to meet the little blue elves themselves.
- An episode from the 1961 European TV cartoon series The Smurfs features an episode called "The Smurf Flute" in which a magic flute similar to the one featured in this comic book story makes the Smurfs dance.
- It is not known if this story ever actually saw print in the universe of the 2011 Smurfs movie, as in the same year of 1958 was when their real-world creator Peyo has discovered them to be a historical legend and mostly used his cartooning skills to document their existence in a book that the Smurfs discover in Mr. Wong's Mystical Emporium to find the spell that would make the blue moon appear. In fact, it is not known whether any of Peyo's other cartoon creations such as Johan and Peewit, Pussycat, and Benny Breakiron ever existed in that universe.